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ICMI's Top 17 Articles of 2017

The end of the year is an ideal time to stop, reflect, and celebrate. As we look back on the year that was, we’re proud of all the ways we’ve helped bring together contact center leaders in 2017. We couldn’t have done it without the devotion of our icmi.com contributors, the loyal members of this community, and the inspiring advice you’ve shared all year long.

ICMI's Top 17 Articles of 2017

It was an active year, complete with four live Training Symposiums, two successful conferences (ICMI Contact Center Expo & ICMI Contact Center Demo), 50 live Twitter chats, 12 live webinars, and hundreds of new articles. As we were looking back, we decided to compile a list of the top articles of 2017. These articles were most popular with our readers this year, and they're ranked by the number of unique views. If you missed them the first time around, we hope you'll read them now and use the advice to prepare for a successful 2018. Bookmark this page and come back to it for inspiration.

Enjoy! Happy Holidays from everyone at ICMI.

1.    5 Things You Should Stop Writing to Your Customers Right Now by Leslie O’Flahavan

In this article, Leslie O’Flahavan calls out some bad customer service wording you should stop using right now. She also offers some reasonable alternatives that help freshen your writing style.

2.    The Top 5 Reasons Employees Stay Put by Jenny Dempsey

Keeping the team together matters; in fact, it’s a top ten challenge for members of the ICMI community. In this article, Jenny Dempsey offers up some ways to keep agents invested in your team.

3.    What Do Customers Really Think About Long Wait Times? by Doug Vinson

For business leaders today, it is essential to understand what customers think a long wait time is and how those wait times impact the bottom line. Doug Vinson shares critical research in this article.

4.    The True Cost of Contact Center Agent Attrition by Ron Davis

Contact centers are losing much more money than they think from employee turnover. Why? Ron Davis shares why traditional approaches to employee engagement often miss the mark.

5.    9 Shocking Ways You’re Undermining Employee Engagement by Jim Rembach

Wondering why some of your best agents decided to leave this year? Jim Rembach offers up nine surprising ways contact center leaders unintentionally harm morale.

6.    Bold Predictions: Where the Contact Center Industry is Heading in 2017 by ICMI Top 50 Thought Leaders

What did our thought leaders predict would happen this year? How many of their predictions came to fruition? Read this article to see!

7.    3 Metrics That Belong on Every Dashboard by Ruth McCullen

Are your dashboards bulging with an overabundance of metrics? If so, you’re not alone! Ruth McCullen shares helpful advice in this article.

8.    5 Things Your Agents Can Say to Dissolve Customer Frustration Immediately by Chris Edmonds

When customers get irritated and angry, they can often push your agents past their capacity to respond professionally. Chris Edmonds shares five phrases agents can use to help callers feel valued and willing to dial down their irritation.

9.    How to Build Call Scoring Evaluation Forms by Chris Bauserman

Form design has changed a lot over the years. Chris Bauserman shares concepts and tips that will assist you in creating useful, well-designed evaluation forms.

10.    Best Practices for Evaluating Contact Center Performance by McKay Bird

In this article, McKay Bird shares a few guidelines to consider when developing, revising and establishing metrics for business performance.

11.    How to Develop a Customer Service Vision by Nate Brown

A Customer Service Vision Statement is your opportunity to channel purpose into everything from quality management to coaching conversations to rewards and recognition. Need a little help creating one? Read this advice from Nate Brown.

12.    5 Practical Actions to Improve Customer Satisfaction by Jeremy Watkin

Does your contact center struggle to act on customer feedback? Jeremy Watkin shares five simple actions for customer service leaders looking to use the information they already have to improve customer satisfaction.

13.    What IS Customer Advocacy? by Brad Cleveland

Customer advocacy was a favorite customer experience buzzword in 2017, but what does it mean? What role does it play in the contact center? Brad Cleveland explains.

14.    The Secret to Employee Engagement: Empower Every Employee to Lead by Mike Aoki

In this article, Mike Aoki reveals three key ways Rogers Communications stays ahead of the competition. Hint: employee engagement is an integral part of their strategy.

15.    Can You Train Contact Center Agents in Empathy? By Susan Preiss

Encouraging your contact center agents to deliver empathetic customer service takes more than a simple tactic like call scripting. Susan Preiss shares strategies for success.

16.    4 Steps to Make Contact Center Work Meaningful by Sheri Kendall-duPont

Working in a contact center is about so much more than just sitting in seats answering calls with a script. It’s about solving complex problems and making a difference in the lives of customers. Sheri Kendall-duPont offers up four steps contact center leaders can take to make work more meaningful for their agents.

17.    Why Ditching Your Diaper Genie Culture Will Reduce Turnover by Karin Hurt & David Dye

In their 25 years of experience working in and with call centers around the world, one of the biggest retention-related mistakes Karin Hurt and David Dye have seen leaders make in those centers is failing to address the phenomenon we call “Diaper Genie Drama.” Read on to learn how you can avoid falling victim to this toxic pattern.